Beware, the New Face of Fraud

It's 3AM in Cyprus, and while most residents of the small Island sleep, a certain miscreant is up in his dimly lit room, on his computer plotting his next scheme. He is on Facebook but he's not using his account. He's using the made-up account for Charles Harrison and he's sending messages to my friends on Facebook with my picture and my name claiming I'm a fraud and I've scammed him.

As people read his claim, there is immediate doubt however, Harrison's grammar structure is poor, his inability to construct a proper sentence tells otherwise, then his profile has no picture, it's a new profile with two or three friends, obviously other aliases that he has used in the past, just a scheme to build around his new Facebook page. Not satisfied with the responses he gets, he quickly creates another page. He uses a pretty female face and a strange name, he copies my picture from my Facebook profile, he puts up a bogus Bank of America account number, my office number (because he doesn't have my personal number even though it's there on my profile) and then posts a public announcement to friends from my Facebook profile telling them not to do business with me because I'm a scam.

Thanks for the heads-up Mr. Harrison, Mr. or Miss Zubair but Facebook is a place my friends and I interact, we don't do business, also, my friends don't need heads-up from a complete stranger and lastly, why not come out in person with these accusations? Why build fake profiles? The reason, he is the new face of fraud, using social media to play victim and then pounce on his next target.

Playing the victim is the latest strategy used by online fraudsters. Usually people like this have been given access to you by people who are upset with you for personal reasons, reasons that aren't illegal. To get back at you, they share your name and a few details about you with scam artists looking for their next mark.

Unfortunately, like many people in the world today, personal details about me are everywhere, a simple Google search can give you information about me that you might not have been privy to 5 years ago, this however doesn't make me an easy target, but then, if you can't target me, why not use me as the bullet?

Until Mr. Harrison, everything about me on Facebook had been public, who my friends are was open to the public and so were my posts. Ever since Mr. Harrison's attack however, I've had to rethink how I use social media. I've changed my privacy settings and blocked his accounts, but not because I'm afraid of him. Most of my friends on Facebook are people I've known for decades, and in those decades, I might have failed at promises and we might have had misunderstandings, but I've never scammed them or anyone else, thus they remain friends and I remain out of jail. If I've scammed Mr. Harrison and he has all these personal details about me, why approach my Facebook friends? Why not go to the authorities? If for some reason, a stranger sends you messages on your Facebook page warning you about someone you know or you don't know, if you decide to respond, advice the person to take it to the authorities. Facebook isn't a police station.

I have used my own resources to find out who you really are Charles Harrison, Zubair Aakil, where you are located and what you do. Please come out of the shadows, you know who I am, take whatever evidence you have against me to the proper authorities.

My final advice to people who might have received from Charles Harrison or Zubair Aakil (or your next alias) is not to click on any links they might refer you to. I do feel bad for the model whose picture he is using as Zubair Aakil. Like me since she can't be the victim, she's used as a pawn in his foiled game.

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About Dan Abubakar

Dan Abubakar

Dan Abubakar started writing at the age of nine and for years writing remained just a hobby. After University and working in the I.T industry as a Web Developer/Consultant for almost ten years, Dan decided to give writing a real chance. His debut novel is the political thriller The Galadima Conspiracy.

When not writing, Dan is an avid reader, a movie buff and sometimes a music enthusiast. His favorite movies include The Usual Suspects, Con Air, L.A Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, 50 First Dates, Inception, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale.

Dan's influences include Sidney Sheldon, James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Dean Koontz and Lee Child. More recently, writers like Rachel Abbott and Simon Wood have also inspired him.

Dan loves thrillers and mysteries but is open to all genres.He is currently working on his second and third books simultaneously. They are Hersassin and Yahooligans.